Scientific American, April 2008

The Color of Plants on Other Worlds
If it isn't easy being green on Earth, where chlorophyll is well tuned to absorb most of the energy in our sun's yellow light, imagine the difficulties elsewhere in the galaxy. Plants growing on worlds around cooler, brighter or more tempestuous stars would need to rely on red, blue or even black pigments to survive. That insight offers astronomers new clues about what to look for in their search for extraterrestrial life.

Regrowing Human Limbs

The ability to regenerate lost body parts -- salamander-style -- could revolutionize the treatment of amputations and major wounds.

Rulers of Light
A kind of laser light called an optical frequency comb can make atomic clocks and other instruments much more precise.

The Doping Dilemma
Game theory suggests how to stop the pervasive abuse of drugs in cycling, baseball and other sports.

Detecting Nuclear Smuggling
Radiation monitors at U.S. ports cannot reliably detect highly enriched uranium, which onshore terrorists could assemble into a nuclear bomb.

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